As part of a complete overhaul of my site, all future articles will be posted on my blog every day is magickal and there will be no further postings from this blog. Be sure to visit every day is magickal and subscribe there in order to continue getting updates to new articles and blog posts. Previous articles can all still be accessed from the Articles page of my site www.ladyalthaea.com And many new articles can be found there now, too.
In an earlier post, Teaching Children Paganism, I discussed some of the techniques and activities that my husband and I use to pass on our beliefs and practices to our children. If you have very young children and plan on doing similar, I highly suggest you take a look at it, as it gives a basic structure for the first four years that lays a good foundation for more formal teaching when your child is older. But, what if you have older children and have yet to have discussed religion or spirituality with them and have now decided to share your beliefs and practices with them, or maybe they’ve started asking you questions about your beliefs, what now?
Teaching older children Paganism and/or Witchcraft is a very different matter than with younger children. For one, with younger children, teaching basically falls under the category of full immersion: the child has been exposed to your beliefs and practices for as long as they can remember; it’s as much a part of their daily life as it is yours. But with an older child, this naturally means that there has been some sort of exclusion: the child was kept separate or unaware, and now that ground must be crossed.
At first appearances, it may seem that the art of magick can be summed up, in total, as the use of spells. However, this definition barely scrapes the surface of what it truly means to work magick and in no way implies the true breadth of living a magickal existence. While spells may be one way in which to make magick, they are not the only way and certainly not always the most effective or efficient way in which one may harness the energies of the Universe to bring about change in accordance with will. In other words: magick is more than spells.
At the most basic level, magick is the manipulation of energy, and all the physical world is made of energy. This isn’t just witchy-wishful thinking or New Age-nonsense, this is scientific fact: everything is made of energy at the most fundamental level. And by shifting our awareness so that this energetic state becomes more prominent, we bring ourselves into harmony with the world around us. With this comes the awareness that as energetic beings, we are not separate from the world around us nor are we separate from the people we interact with everyday: we are connected to every living thing upon this planet and with the planet itself*–and that connection never goes away. That is the beginning of where rather than “doing” magick you begin to “live” magick.
Including children in ritual can be a very warm and rewarding experience. Though if one’s never Circled with children before, planning a ritual to include them may leave one drawing a blank.
Children have a natural interest and curiosity for all the natural world and they take easily to magickal workings. They also function on a more spontaneous and open level, versus the methodical and rational level that adults tend to operate from so planning a ritual for kids is actually much simpler than planning a ritual for adults. But, given that adults and children do function differently, there are some things to keep in mind that can make the ritual more enjoyable for everyone involved.
aka Purification Day, Lady Day, Brighid’s Day, and Candlemas
The Earth held firm in icy Winter’s grasp, but the Sun grows stronger in power. Each morning, since the Solstice, He rises a little earlier; each evening He sets a little later. But now, this day, the Lady feels His presence and begins to stir.
The Sun climbs higher, shining stronger, and at last the ice breaks, melts, and water flows, washing away the debris that has collected since the Fall. The Earth, purified, now awakens fully; the Lady opens Her eyes. As testament to this fact a few brave creatures also awaken and so, too, do the trees and a few adventurous plants.
Many religions feature an altar as part of their worship and Wicca is no different. But, despite what many would have you believe, an altar is more than just a place to store your magickal tools.
An altar is a dedicated space to your interaction with your Gods, that is why when you are not actively using your altar it is more precisely called a *shrine. An altar is a sacred place where you call your Gods and sing Their praises, where you leave offerings for Them and ask for assistance. It is also a place where you do your magickal work, where you keep long-term spell items or charms worked at a distance for someone.
Outside of specific Traditions of Wicca and other Neo-Pagan religions, there is no standard altar set up. That means if you are a solitary practitioner your altar can look however you desire -with whatever tools you want on it. There are, however, some general guidelines to the layout of an altar.
Winter can be a time when aligning oneself with the forces of Nature can seem difficult. The cold and snow can keep everyone locked indoors, and all time spent outside must be limited for one’s own safety. But Winter is a time just as applicable to magick as any other season. And though all plant life has diminished and many animals have hidden themselves away, slumbering till Spring, there is still much at hand that the Witch can use.
This the harvest of root vegetables, the last of the corn, and the blood harvest: slaughtering the animals that won’t survive the Winter and those that are needed for food for our own survival. The focus now is on endings, getting rid of what is no longer needed, and making preparations for harder times. Now is a time for magick aimed to release, to free, to cause lasting profound change within oneself. Now is a time for divination of all kinds: pierce the thin veil, seek out the truths you need.
Here are a few suggestions for your own Samhain celebrations. Some of these are traditions enjoyed by many Pagans, Wiccans, and Witches as part of their own observances.
Other Articles You May Like:
Samhain (published 2010)
Autumn- the Time of the Fall
Grounding is a fundamental term and practice within the art of Witchcraft and Magick. It is also a common part of Wiccan ritual, especially if any power has been raised or magick wrought.
However the term grounding is misleading, as it suggests that one is merely “earthing the power,” yet what is actually taking place is so much more than that.
The ritual tools of Wicca are powerful symbols, connecting us to greater energies beyond our everyday perceptions. Each tool has its own story, its own symbolism and vital archetypal energy that it taps into.
Going further than the Elemental association, for even They have a simpler correspondence, each tool has a basic association: masculine or feminine. The reasons for this go further than being a basic expression of animal life (i.e. male and female,) but to what it is these two sexes accomplish when united. Together, they are Creator, that which is able to bring forth new life into this world. (Going off of the Law of Similarities, we should thus be able to create anything, magickally, with these tools.) And it is this ability to create, this fertility, that is at the utmost core of Wicca.
Many erroneously describe Wicca as a Nature religion as opposed to the Fertility religion it rightfully is. The difference in these two terms is what they emphasize. Being a Nature religion means a belief in the Natural world being sacred, a belief in animism and an immanent Divine. A Fertility religion, on the other hand, is based upon the driving forces behind the Natural world, the ebb and flow of energies, that which turns not just the Wheel of the Year, but the wheel of Life and Death as well. As this energy permeates all (and is also beyond it) it is only to be expected that the Natural world is honored, for just as we are, it is an extension of this energy and is thus, just as we are, sacred.
This is the energy that is sought when a Wand is raised and this is the energy that is honored when Athame enters Chalice. Each tool is a representation of that which we are most familiar with in the dance of creation, the very parts of us that we use to create. Accordingly then, every Athame, every Wand, represents Man and the animating force that allows all to exist and every Chalice, every Cauldron, represents Woman and the matrix from which all emanates. The use of these tools in ritual affirms the sanctity of life and that which creates it.
The symbolism is simple, for these are very basic energies. But the power that is in turn wielded and honored is nothing less than the driving force of the Universe.
Other Articles You May Like:
The Tools of Wicca and Witchcraft
Ritual- a Reminder of the Sacred
The Importance of Making your own Tools
Throwing the Bones
Whether you're struggling with something spiritually or in everyday life, bone divination can highlight areas where focus is needed and identify alternative ways forward.